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Green Packaging 101: Plastic-Free Shipping

Green Packaging 101 - Plastic-Free Shipping

Since the discovery of polyethylene in 1933, plastic has become a ubiquitous material used to make items that make life both easier and safer. Plastic is known for its durability and longevity. Unfortunately, these same characteristics make this synthetic material a primary source of non-biodegradable waste that leaves harmful imprints on the environment.

Because of its harmful effects to human, animals and the environment, plastic reduction efforts and other green solutions are being promoted in attempts to reduce plastic pollution. Many individuals are taking part in these efforts by recycling plastic materials or minimizing the use of such items in their lifestyle. Businesses are also taking the initiative as increasing numbers of customers are seeking for “green’ companies that employ environment-friendly operations.

In shipping, many individuals and companies are already opting for plastic-free packing to reduce the strain of non-biodegradable materials on the environment. Recycling or using eco-friendly packing materials may be a bit more tedious than grabbing some readily available bubble wrap, tape and other plastic items from the shipping supplies store but its a great way to help lessen the amount of plastic wastes in our landfills. Here are some tips for green and plastic-free shipping.

The greenest option to ship an item will always be to reuse what you already have. As long as boxes, envelopes and mailing tubes are still sturdy enough to protect your items, use them. Just make sure to remove any labels or bar codes that may cause confusion with shipping equipment and personnel.

Use paper tape instead of the conventional plastic coated packaging tape. It may take more effort to activate the adhesive on a strip of paper tape with water (keep a spray bottle handy) but when properly applied, this type of tape is a great green alternative to seal, secure and reinforce packages.

Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are two of the most common packing materials around. Avoid using them as much as possible or opt for the biodegradable variety which easily breaks down and does not pose hazard to the environment. Other alternative packing materials are newspaper, shredded magazine pages, calendar or junk mail, and paper grocery bags.

Alternatively, there are companies which offer packing supplies made from recycled or environment-friendly materials. These supplies may be a little costlier than the conventional packing materials but they are worth every cent as far as our environment is concerned!

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